German GP: Mercedes Opt For Retro Cool As Rain Dispels Heat At Hockenheim

Updated: 27 July 2019 19:00 IST

Mercedes are celebrating 125 years of motorsport and their 200th race start at their home German Grand Prix.

German GP: Mercedes Opt For Retro Cool As Rain Dispels Heat At Hockenheim
Mercedes mechanics recreated a 1950s atmosphere on a welcome cooler morning. © AFP

Mercedes mechanics arrived for work wearing full white overalls and tweed caps on Saturday as the team continued its celebrations of 125 years of motorsport and their 200th race start at their home German Grand Prix. The retro uniform was a recreation of that worn by the team at their first Formula One world championship race, the 1954 French Grand Prix at Reims, won in a Mercedes by Juan-Manuel Fangio. All the support team and hospitality staff also dressed in vintage clothing as they recreated a 1950s atmosphere on a welcome cooler morning after overnight rainstorms swept away the record-breaking heat of previous days.  

The team's cars are running this weekend in a retro livery with a predominately white front end, reflecting the original German national racing colours before Mercedes became the 'Silver Arrows'.

While Mercedes is celebrating the past it is being cautious about the immediate future. On Friday, team boss Toto Wolff said Mercedes will delay a decision on their 2020 driver line-up until the break in the calendar after next week's Hungarian Grand Prix.

That announcement piled the pressure on Valtteri Bottas who is the only realistic rival to defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton in this year's title race. The Finn trails him by 39 points at the midway point of the season.

Wolff's comments suggested Mercedes are not only analysing Bottas's performances, but also considering other candidates, including reserve driver Esteban Ocon who is also being linked with a possible move to Haas.

Bottas has had two successive one-year deals with Mercedes and this year has enjoyed his best start to a season with four poles and two victories.

"We want to end the first part of the season before the shut-down in a good place and put in two solid performances and then spend some time thinking about 2020 and beyond," said Wolff.

"For us, it's not only about making the right decision for next year, but about looking ahead. This is why we agreed that we will take the decision in August, but that doesn't necessarily mean we will announce it in August."

He added that Bottas had also to make his own decision: "One must not forget that he's performing strong and there's interest in the market for him also..."

He said Ocon "would deserve to be in a Mercedes in the same way Valtteri does" and added that if Bottas were to be re-signed it may result in Ocon leaving on a two-year deal with another team.

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Topics mentioned in this article Mercedes Mercedes Formula 1
Highlights
  • Mercedes mechanics arrived for work wearing full white overalls
  • The team continued its celebrations of 125 years of motorsport
  • It will be their 200th race start at their home German Grand Prix.
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